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Evaluation of Peer Assisted Learning

Date/time: Tuesday 17 May 2005. Session: 12-2pm, my slot: 12:30 - 1pm.
Place: Teaching & Learning Service, 53 Hillhead Street.
How to get there: Instructions


Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology


Abstract: PAL (peer assisted learning) was first introduced to this university in 2002-3 in Computing Science. By "PAL" we mean a scheme for weekly meetings for students on a given course run ("facilitated") not by staff but by students who have done the course previously. A previous LTDF grant funded the evaluation of this startup scheme. In the following 2003-4 session, PAL was run in several departments: Computing Science, Psychology, and Law. This talk presents what was collected about this experience funded by a second LTDF grant. The character or feel of the schemes differs markedly between departments, and indeed between years within Psychology, where it has been run at all 4 levels. In many ways this is because it is a student-centered scheme, and displays characteristics opposite to staff run events such as lectures: in the latter attendance is fairly constant, declining gradually during the semester, whereas in PAL, attendance fluctuates wildly depending on the topic, and tends to peak not dip just before deadlines. The benefits are probably greatest for the facilitators, but for the minority of client students who attend, the benefits they perceive are generally substantial.

In order to book online and obtain further information about the LTDF, please visit Otherwise contact Lucinda Dempsie on x3370 or at

Some notes on PAL and pointers to papers are also available.

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